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There is currently no evidence to support the safe use of essential oils for infants or children under the age of two. Children under two, especially infants, do not have developed nervous systems or organ function.  Because of this, substances that may be deemed “calming” for most are actually noxious and toxic for infants and small children. 

Many products like lotions, creams, and bath soaps marketed for infants either have a very small amount of essential oil present in the product, or are filled with artificial alternatives to enhance the fragrance.  This is important to know because these products are unlikely to have a therapeutic effect.

Tips for use with infants

If you have children under two, you can use aromatherapy, but need to be cautious. Here are some helpful tips when small children and infants are present:

  • Diffuse in an open, spacious room.
  • Use generally safe oils: lavender, citrus, frankincense, bergamot.
  • Diffuse intermittently—not continuously or all day.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach and in a safe place.
  • Do not have a diffuser blowing on the child.
  • Avoid diffusing in the child's room.
  • Do not diffuse in a hot steam shower with an infant present.
  • Do not put directly on your children’s skin or in open cuts or scrapes.
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